Nate Fortuna posted an interesting piece in my Social and Ethical Implications of Technology course on a modern version of the old idea of a “foundling wheel”. The original was something like a revolving wooden barrel, usually in the wall of a hospital or convent, where one could anonymously leave a baby to be cared for by others.
Now numerous hospitals in Europe have created modern equivalents, where one can anonymously leave a baby at a hospital. Instead of a wooden barrel, though, they now have heated cradles, respirators, and alarms that immediately notify emergency room personal.
It’s obviously deeply unfortunate that anyone would feel the need to abandon a child, but this is clearly a far better option than the steps of a church, a cardboard box in an alley, garbage bins, or worse.